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?That? ??I can?t even come up with a family-friendly term for the tsunami of crap Trump set in motion this week.

The New York Times? three-reporter interview with Trump had already generated heavy surf Wednesday and Thursday. The amount of insanity packed in one summary article and published excerpts, combined with problematic journalistic methodology, agitated a massive undertow.

Last evening, the Washington Post reported that Trump has asked his attorneys about the limits of presidential pardons while they look for ways to undermine the legitimacy of Robert Mueller?s Russia investigation.

We also learned Mark Corallo left Team Trump.

Ditto attorney Marc Kasowitz, though depending on who you read, he?s either ?left? or taken a ?lesser role?.

That?s just last night.

Sandwiched between NYT?s one-two punch and last night?s WaPo piece are pieces sure to increase pressure.

Like Bloomberg?s report that Mueller is looking into Trump?s business transactions.

(Side note: I have a problem with Bloomberg?s piece in particular as it claims the stock market responded negatively to the reporting about Trump. Really? There?s nothing else going on, like news about Apple, Netflix, Musk?s Boring, skittishness ahead of GE?s earnings, Carrier?s layoffs, so on, which might concern the market? Oh, Exxon?s little hand slap?right. Nah.)

I don?t know how we stay ahead of this wave. But after learning

? Trump wouldn?t have nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions to attorney general if he?d known in advance Sessions would recuse himself;

? Trump thinks Mueller investigating his family?s finances is too far;

? Less than 179 days in office, Trump was already considering the use of presidential pardons for family;

it?s time to ask Congress to revisit the independence of special counsel under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to assure Mueller?s investigation is completely out of reach of the White House and its compromised attorney general. As the law addressing the special counsel currently exists, the role remains under the purview of the attorney general. This is increasingly problematic, given Trump?s statements about Sessions? recusal, which may be construed as a form of intimidation.

Yeah, yeah, Scalia thought the independent counsel was an overreaching breach between the legislative and executive branches. But Scalia likely never foresaw this level of insanity, stupidity, and criminality in the White House, combined with an utterly flaccid majority party, either complicit or unwilling to perform oversight within its powers and purpose. In his dissent of Morrison v. Olson, Scalia wrote,

It is the proud boast of our democracy that we have ?a government of laws and not of men.? ?

What happens when the executive office ignores or violates laws, and Congress turns a blind eye? What backstop is there to assure the ?government of laws? continues to execute the law in spite of the failure of men charged with creating and upholding the laws?

Commenting on a tweet by former Eric Holder, former Justice Department spokesperson Matthew Miller tweeted last night,

?Yep. These leaks are partially intended to test the boundaries of what he can get away with. Like w/ Comey firing, silence is acquiescence.? [bold mine]

It?s not on Congress alone, though, to hold fast the boundaries on executive power. It?s on citizens to demand Congress demonstrate limits as representatives of the people.

By the way, to reach Congress call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121

As mentioned in the blurb, this is an open thread.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology?s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.


[1] ....[2] ....[3]Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation - The Washington Post ....[4]Spokesman for Trump’s legal team resigns just two months after starting - POLITICO ....[5]Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz taking reduced White House role amid legal team shake up  - New York Daily News ....[6]Donald Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz reduced role in legal-team shuffle - Business Insider ....[7]Bloomberg - Are you a robot? ....[8]Sell Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock as iPhone 8 Issues Mount | InvestorPlace ....[9] ....[10]Oh, Elon. Building Infrastructure for the Hyperloop Doesn't Work Like That | WIRED ....[11]GE shares fall as profit slumps, investors await new CEO's targets - Reuters ....[12]Layoffs begin at Carrier plant that drew Trump's criticism - Business Insider ....[13]Exxon Mobil fined $2 million for violating sanctions against Russia when Rex Tillerson was CEO - Los Angeles Times ....[14]Ethics in Government Act - Wikipedia ....[15]28 CFR § 600.7 - Conduct and accountability. | CFR | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute ....[16]Chris Wray's DodgeBall and Trump's Latest Threats | emptywheel ....[17]MORRISON v. OLSON | FindLaw ....[18]Matthew Miller on Twitter: "Yep. These leaks are partially intended to test the boundaries of what he can get away with. Like w/ Comey firing, silence is acquiescence.…" ....[19]Trumpnami: Good Luck Staying Ahead of That | emptywheel ....